‘Build back better’ bill would pay farmers to plant cover crops – October 29, 2021

‘Build back better’ bill would pay farmers to plant cover crops

House Democrats, acting in concert with President Biden, proposed a $1.75 trillion social welfare and climate change bill on Thursday that would combat global warming by paying farmers up to $25 an acre to grow cover crops on their land during fallow seasons. The bill also would help low-income families buy food for their children during the summer and make nearly 9 million students in high-poverty areas eligible for free school meals.

Deluge of rain won’t end California farmers’ water woes

After a near-record year of drought, California received some relief this week from torrential rains, the result of an atmospheric river hitting a bomb cyclone. The storms snuffed out the Dixie Fire, which has been burning in the northern Sierras since July, and put an end to Northern California’s grueling fire season. What the rains didn’t do was end the drought — or the water restrictions faced by many of the state’s farmers.

Meat industry racks up low scores on water management

A report from the nonprofit Ceres said that “food companies need to do more” to manage risks to the water they use to grow and process their products. The 38 major food companies in the Ceres analysis had an average score of 49 out of 100 possible points, while the average score in the meat sector was just 18 points.

Today’s Quick Hits

Calming the waters: U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai hopes to lower trade tensions with China “so that we can have a sober relationship and a sober conversation about how we can stabilize the parts of our trade that are working.” (Reuters)

Specialty crop funds: The USDA announced $243 million in grants to support specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops, through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and the Specialty Crop Research Initiative. (USDA)

Age-old tobacco: Findings at an archaeological dig in Utah provide strong evidence that humans were using tobacco, a plant native to the Americas, more than 12,000 years ago. (Modern Farmer)

Sustainable jet fuel: Some 900 million gallons of corn ethanol, half of ADM’s annual production, would be converted into sustainable aviation fuel under an agreement with Gevo Inc. (ADM)

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